Monday, 6 June 2016

Springwatch - Garden Bio Blitz 2016

A garden bioblitz is when you try and see an identify as many living species as possible within a 24 hour period.  In 2014 when I did a garden bioblitz, lots of our naturalist friends came to visit and helped with identifying species.  I also took lots of photos and posted them on Facebook and I-Spot where lots of people identified them for me.  I loved doing the bioblitz and really learned a huge amount about the things that lived in my garden. That year we came second in the country.

This year the National Garden Biobltiz weekend was the weekend of 4th and 5th June 2016 

Every year this is when, in a 24 hour time slot, you try and see as many different animal species within your garden! As this is very soon I'm going to be giving you some great tips on how to ensure to see lots of different species!

However, with my conference, Race Equality in Nature, coming up on Friday 3rd June 2016, I thought that it would be better to make my bioblitz more accessible for ordinary people.  So i decided that it would be about enticing more living things into my garden and although I would be trying to identify what I could, I would just enjoy seeing different species.   

Tip one: put up bird feeders a few days before or stock them up with food if you already have them. It's important to do it a few days before as its more certain that birds will come and they will get used to having a food source in your garden. 

Tip two: scatter bird seed on the ground. This will attract lots of other species of bird as well as some other types of animal as well 

Tip three: if you have a pond prepare some small nets to go pond dipping with. You can discover all sorts of creatures that you never realised were there before! Remember if you do this, to have a small bucket of water from the pond to put them in. If you keep these animals out of the water for prolonged amounts of time they may die, and the animals health and safety always come first

Tip four: if you don't know what an animal is, then take a photograph of it! There are lots of places you can ask on the Internet to discover what it is

Tip five: DON'T MOW ALL THE GRASS! You can mow some of it, but leave some to grow wild and bushy. Let it all grow to different lengths. This means you have different bits of habitat for different animals

Tip five: put a bit of corrugated iron or even a black piece of plastic like a bin lid somewhere where it gets warm during the day a few days before. This creates somewhere for slow worms or even snakes to hide.

Tip six: look at the plants as well! 

I made a video about how to prepare for the biobliz and what to do.  It was part of the BBC "Do something Great" Campaign and was posted on the Springwatch website, as the main video over that weekend, which was amazing

Over the weekend I did some mothing, where I had some help from Mike Bailey the Chair of Chew Valley Ringing Station and tried to focus on noticing different species rather than having to identify everything.  If you live in flats, pop outside an hour after dark and look at the moths that have gathered around the light.  Also visit a local green space or park and try to notice the different wild flowers or bees, the diversity of nature.  If you want to identify things, take some photos and try and identify them from the internet later.

After the weekend BBC Springwatch Unsprung talked about the Garden Bioblitz and showed a photo of me at 29 mins

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig Bio Blitzing with Mike Bailey

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig Bio Blitzing

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig Bio Blitzing

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig Bio Blitzing

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig Bio Blitzing

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig Bio Blitzing

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig Bio Blitzing

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig Bio Blitzing

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig Bio Blitzing

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig Bio Blitzing

About the Writer

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig on Scilly
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig 

Mya-Rose Craig is a 14 year old young British Bangladesh birder, naturalist, conservationist, environmentalist, activist, writer and speaker. She is based near Bristol and writes the successful Birdgirl Blog, with posts about birding and conservation from around the world. She loved seeing Mountain Gorillas in East Africa and Penguins in Antarctica over Christmas 2015, her 7th continent.

Mya-Rose was a Bristol European Green Capital Ambassador along with Kevin McCloud, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Tony Juniper, Simon King, Miranda Krestovnikoff and Shaun the Sheep! See the full list of Bristol Ambassadors. She has also been listed with the singer songwriter George Ezra and actress Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones as one of Bristol's most influential young people. Please like her Birdgirl Facebook Page and follow her on Birdgirl Twitter

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